Assistant Professor in Criminal Law at Durham Law School, Durham University and deputy-director of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). My research interests are broadly located in the fields of gender, ageing and crime, with particular interests in crimes against, and by, people age 60 and over. My current research funded through a British Academy Wolfson Fellowship is examining criminal justice outcomes and decision making in cases involving older adults. Outside of academia, I sit as a magistrate in County Durham and Darlington and I am the Chair of Age UK Teesside.
The missing generation - violence against older women in Europe
There has been an exponential growth in research documenting the prevalence, nature and consequences of violence against women over the last three decades. This work is inter and multi-disciplinary, spanning health, sociology, social policy, social work, law and other related fields. Yet, there remain gaps in knowledge, with some groups understudied as both victims and offenders. Older adults – defined as aged 60 and over for the purposes of this chapter – have seldom been included in research and data examining domestic violence (and other forms of interpersonal violence) prevalence, risk factors and consequences, and much less the explicit focus of empirical (or theoretical) inquiry. This paper will consider the absence of older people, as victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, across European research, theory and policy. It will argue that deeply entrenched ageism contributes to this absence and the framing of violence against older adults (primarily older women) as 'elder abuse' has resulted in a conceptual camouflaging of violence against older women. This paper will argue that domestic violence against older adults must be disentangled from elder abuse and brought into mainstream feminist theory on violence against women and girls.